|Publication number||US8111242 B1|
|Application number||US 11/413,971|
|Publication date||Feb 7, 2012|
|Filing date||Apr 28, 2006|
|Priority date||Apr 28, 2005|
|Also published as||US8334843|
|Publication number||11413971, 413971, US 8111242 B1, US 8111242B1, US-B1-8111242, US8111242 B1, US8111242B1|
|Inventors||Erik Charlton, Fergal Corcoran, Kevin Forde|
|Original Assignee||Logitech Europe S.A.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (19), Referenced by (6), Classifications (4), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/676,080, filed Apr. 28, 2005, entitled “Electronic Pointing Device With User Variable Weight”, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
The present invention concerns the field of electronic pointing devices, in particular autonomous devices which communicate the displacement over a surface to a computer.
The first generation mouse was fitted with a ball from which the lateral displacement of the pointing device, also called mouse, entails the rotation of the ball. This rotation was detected by two sensors which converted the rotation into X,Y displacement. This information was transmitted to the computer through a communication cable or by radio signals.
The second generation of pointing devices uses contactless detection, mostly based on optical sensors, both coherent and non coherent illumination is used. Optical sensing technologies aim at detecting modifications to the reflected optical signal and calculate the X and Y displacements. A contactless mouse means a pointing device of second generation detecting the displacement of the mouse over a surface without physical contact of the detecting elements with said surface.
Various push buttons are added to the mouse to select, validate, browse, i.e. to transmit the user's commands to the computer. The size and shape of the mouse is dictated by the usage, i.e. the adequate gripping by the hand. Various embodiments are proposed for example for right-handed and left-handed people or compact size version for portable computers.
One example of such contactless mouse (i.e. using an optical detection module) is illustrated in the patent U.S. Pat. No. 6,859,196. A typical mouse comprises an electronic module, which is in charge of the movement detection and of the communication with a computer. This electronic module is embedded into a housing from which at least one actuator is apparent.
An example of a mouse where the batteries are placed over the center to put them over the center of gravity of the mouse is found in Logitech U.S. Pat. No. 6,411,281. In the area of game controllers, U.S. Pat. No. 5,076,584 describes a hand-held remote control for a video game with a variable number of removable weights.
Mice are used for a variety of applications, including computer games. PC Gamers express a range of preferences regarding the weight of an optimal gaming mouse. Some claim that a very light weight mouse feels unstable and is difficult to control. Others argue that heavier mice are harder to control because of their inertia. Many of these same users additionally argue that heavier mice can be unnecessary fatiguing when playing for extended periods. Some users also desire a mouse that is well “balanced.” Active PC gamers desire a particular hand feel that can be idiosyncratic.
The present invention provides an electronic pointing device for a computer comprising a housing and an electronic module to detect the relative displacement over an external surface and transmit it to the computer wherein the housing comprises means to adjust the total weight of the device. According to the invention, the user can freely (within certain limits) adjust the weight depending on his wishes. In one embodiment, the pointing device is a mouse.
The user can adjust the weight of the mouse by changing a part of the mouse or adding some ballast elements. In one embodiment, a donut shaped weight is inserted into a slot around the optical lens on the bottom case of an optical mouse. Different weights could be used to vary the mouse weight. Alternately, a donut shaped cartridge can be used, with the user controlling the amount of the weight segments inserted, and their position, to both control the weight and the center of gravity of the mouse.
Currently, the weight of existing mice are fixed at manufacturing, and is the same regardless of the user or application. Some users would like a different weight mouse, to give a different feel, depending on the particular user and/or depending on the application the user is using the mouse for. For example, some users may want a different weight mouse to give a desired feel for gaming applications, while others may want a different weight for other applications.
The invention will be better understood thanks to the attached drawings in which:
According to the first embodiment of the invention, shown in the
Once the frame is filled according to the user's wishes, the same is place in the opening 4 located at the bottom of the mouse. The frame is maintained within the mouse by a suitable actuator 4 a acting as a biasing element. To remove the frame, the user simply pushes the actuator 4 a and the frame is released.
It is to be noted that the ballast element 1 should not move into the frame. For that purpose, the ballast element comprises a rubber band 1 a at its periphery that is adjusted to enter into the corresponding hole of the frame. Once introduced, the ballast element is maintained in this position by the rubber band and can be easily removed by pressure. In an alternative embodiment, the rubber band is placed in the frame's hole so that to produce a biasing effect while entering the ballast element into the frame. In another embodiment, the frame is made out of a smooth elastic material in which the holes are slightly smaller than the diameter of the ballast element. The user can press the ballast element into the frame and the elastic characteristic of the frame's material maintains the ballast element into said frame.
The fact that the frame 2 has many holes or housings allows the user to determine the spatial repartition of the weights. It is then possible to put some elements in the front or in the back of the frame, thus allowing different mouse's behavior. The different configurations allow changing the location of the center of gravity.
The second embodiment is illustrated in the
The user can individually put the ballast elements into the mounting elements, select the weight of these elements according the desired mouse behavior. Not only is the weight selected by the user but also the position in the cover. This allows various configurations and balances of the mouse.
Other mounting means are possible, e.g. using a screw. The common point to these mounting means is to allow the user to firstly select the desired weight and secondly to put it on the back of the cover in the desired location. It is worth noting that the ballast element can have various shapes such as rectangular, cylindrical or non-geometric form.
According to a third embodiment shown in the
This is the fourth embodiment shown in the
The user receives with its mouse several decorative elements, each having a different weight. After selecting the appropriate one, the same is placed in the corresponding recess 9. Suitable attachments are provided to allow the user to place or remove the decorative element at will.
The decorative element can be in the form of a tube, illustrated in the
According to a fifth embodiment illustrated in the
These different movable parts allow the user to spatially locate the weight so as to obtain the desired position of the center of gravity.
Another embodiment not illustrated is an alternative solution of the first embodiment. Once the cover has been removed, the frame is visible and is part of the mouse structure. The user can put the desired weight or ballast element on the frame and replace the cover. On the top of the cover, a biasing element such as foam creates a pressure on each ballast element to avoid any noise or movement in the frame.
In one embodiment, a hollowed out area in the bottom of a mouse holds a donut (disc) shaped weight placed around the optical lens of a mouse. This allows easy adjustment, without requiring the user to open up the mouse. The weights can take a variety of forms as shown in
Donut Cartridge with Individual Weights
The segments can be removed individually to adjust the overall weight. Segments made from materials of different density can be fitted to vary the weight further. For example light aluminum or heavy brass weight segments could be used.
The weight segments can be inserted anywhere on the disc (0-360° range) allowing the position of the centre of gravity to be adjusted. For example: if only one single segment is added it can be placed on the far left. This affects the centre of gravity of the mouse differently than if the single segment was placed on the far right.
As will be understood by those of skill in the art, the present invention could be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the essential characteristics thereof. For example, the weight can be another shape which will fit around the optical lens, such as oval or rectangular. The weights could be added to a gamepad or other movable controller. The controller can control a computer, a video game console, or any other electronic appliance. Accordingly, the foregoing description is intended to be illustrative, but not limiting, of the scope of the invention, which is set forth in the following claims.
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|Cooperative Classification||G06F3/039, G06F3/03543|
|Aug 22, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: LOGITECH EUROPE S.A., SWITZERLAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:CHARLTON, ERIK;CORCORAN, FERGAL;FORDE, KEVIN;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060725 TO 20060802;REEL/FRAME:018164/0873
|Jul 22, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4